Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 5.5.15

Today’s edition of quick hits:
 
* An important first: “Secretary of State John Kerry made a brief but symbolically significant stopover in Somalia on Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official to visit the war-ravaged country since a disastrous foray by American forces more than 20 years ago.”
 
* Baltimore: “In her first visit to Baltimore since riots roiled the city, Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday met with community members and law enforcement officials in an effort to help ease tensions.”
 
* The last of the National Guard troops who were deployed to Baltimore are expected to be gone today.
 
* Joint Chiefs: “President Barack Obama will name the commandant of the Marines, Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., as the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior defense officials told NBC News on Monday…. If he’s confirmed by the Senate, Dunford, the Marines’ 36th commandant, or commanding general, would replace Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as the nation’s top military officer in October when his tour is completed.”
 
* Mac Thornberry on Jade Helm 15: “The chairman of the House Armed Services committee called concerns about a special forces training exercise in Texas ‘silly’ on Monday, dismissing conspiracy theories of impending martial law.”
 
* Louie Gohmert on Jade Helm 15: “Tea party darling Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday demanded that the U.S. military alter a planned training exercise that some conspiracy theorists believe is cover for a possible takeover of the Lone Star state.”
 
* Saving lives sounds like a good idea: “The Obama Administration’s hotly debated plan to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the nation’s power plants will save about 3,500 lives a year by cutting back on other types of pollution as well, a new independent study concludes.”
 
* Evidence-based conclusions rarely affect political debates: “The State Department said Monday it has no evidence that any actions taken by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was secretary of state were influenced by donations to the Clinton Foundation or former President Bill Clinton’s speaking fees.”
 
* Good tip: “The governor of Kansas was taken to school by a waitress who objected to his controversial school funding program – and her tip to Gov. Sam Brownback went viral.”
 
* This won’t pass, but I’m glad they’re pushing it anyway: “Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) want every state to offer same-day voter registration for federal elections. The Democratic senators have reintroduced the Same Day Registration Act, which would require states to allow voters to register on the day of an election.”
 
* The good news: House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) talks a lot about poverty. The bad news: Ryan “keeps getting the basic facts wrong.”
 
* A hint of post-presidency plans: “President Obama on Monday announced the formation of a corporate-backed nonprofit organization to help boys and young men of color, describing it as a group that will outlast his presidency and advance his administration’s goal of achieving greater racial and social justice.”
 
* So much for local control:  ”[Texas state] lawmakers moved Monday to prohibit Texas cities from banning hydraulic fracturing and other potentially environmentally harmful oil and natural gas drilling activities within their boundaries, a major victory for industry groups and top conservatives.”
 
* Ugh: “A racially charged comment forced Maj. Gen. Michael Keltz to resign last week, according to Air Education and Training Command.”
 
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.
 

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 5.5.15